Neuroscience (major), Chemistry, and Creative Writing (potential minors)
I have been to six national parks.
One of my earliest memories is making my baby sister lie on the floor while I used a stethoscope, stolen from my dad, to diagnosed her with cancer. At the age of four, I didn’t know what it meant to have cancer or to be a doctor but growing up straddling the line between UNC and Duke, much of my life has revolved around medical care. I volunteered in high school at the Duke Cancer Center where I was first introduced into the world of health care. I had my “regulars”, patients staying in the hospital, whose dietary charts and family members names I had memorized. This was the first time I began to make connections with people who need support the most.
This inspiring experience drove me through my first year of college, until I found a subject that interested me in every aspect: neuroscience. I spent my summer interning at a state mental hospital where I worked with patients in therapy groups, organized events for different living halls, and shadowed different professionals in the hospital to see what their daily job entailed. This experience raised so many questions in my mind: why does inducing seizures in people with depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia disorders decrease their symptoms?, and how does memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease increase activity in the amygdala that induces personality changes?
Though a large part of my interests lay in volunteering, research, and mental health, I also enjoy playing tennis, writing, and hiking. I mostly write creative non-fiction and poetry, but during my first year I further explored other areas of writing like scientific review and Spanish novellas. One of my favorite experiences last year was going on a community service spring break trip to South Dakota, where I stayed on a Native American reservation and helped rebuild houses. I got to see Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and Crazy Horse, which I may never have visited otherwise. I hope to continue to explore different parts of America and the rest of the world.
I like all the academic resources and mentorship opportunities that SPIRE provides to the fellows.